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Today, Chicago Park District General Superintendent & CEO Michael Kelly announced plans to reopen the city’s lakefront, playgrounds and indoor aquatics programming as metrics allow the city to ease COVID-19 regulations. 

“We are thrilled that lakefront, playgrounds and indoor aquatics programs can safely reopen,” said Chicago Park District General Superintendent & CEO Michael Kelly. “The District is busy preparing these facilities to open as soon as possible. Although these restrictions are being lifted, we must continue to be diligent with the safety protocols that have been instrumental in our progress.”

As snow removal and clean up from recent storms continue along the lakefront, Chicago Park District crews will begin opening public access points to parkland east of Lake Shore Drive. Lakefront parks will be open during normal operating hours. Regulations on lakefront parking will also be lifted. Parking fees will be required and enforced. Masks are mandatory. Large gatherings are strictly prohibited and social distancing must be observed at all times.  

During the upcoming weeks, the Chicago Park District will also unlock gates and prepare all 500+ outdoor playgrounds and nature play spaces to reopen, expanding outdoor recreation opportunities for children, ages 12 and under. Families and caregivers are urged to practice safety guidance, including wearing a mask, social distancing and cleaning hands frequently. These high traffic areas are not sanitized but can be enjoyed safely by following the guidance on the signage installed at each location. 

During its Spring programming session, the Chicago Park District will reopen its indoor swimming pools to offer limited aquatics programming. Spring registration begins Monday, March 8th. Programs run April 5th through June 13th. Spaces for each program will be limited to observe social distancing. The District will follow swimming pool guidance from the State of Illinois.

For park specific, COVID-19 updates, visit Chicago Park District. We also encourage residents to check the City of Chicago website for vital information including Protect Chicago and Protect Chicago Plus in addition to the State of Illinois website for Restore Illinois, the most up-to-date information and guidance available.

The Chicago Park District has served Chicago residents for more than 85 years.  It is a Gold Medal Award-winning organization, which recognizes excellence in park and recreation management across the nation.  For more information about the Chicago Park District’s more than 8,800 acres of parkland, more than 600 parks, 26 miles of lakefront, 12 museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, nearly 50 nature areas, thousands of special events, sports and entertainment programs, please visit or contact the Chicago Park District at 312/742.PLAY or 312/747.2001 (TTY). Want to share your talent? Volunteer in the parks by calling, 312/742.PLAY. Follow us at facebook/chicagoparkdistrict, on Instagram/chicagoparks and on Twitter @chicagoparks.